The president attacked the investigation into his wrongdoing at the most inappropriate of places and in the most indecorous of ways, saying:
“Let others spend their time dealing with the murky, small, unimportant, vicious little things. We have spent our time and will spend our time building a better world.”
Moments later, he came back to his grievances, saying that the nation should “not let ourselves be remembered only for the petty, little, indecent things that seem to obsess us at a time when the world is going by.”
That could well have been Donald Trump, but it’s not.
You can tell by the complexity of syntax and the absence of nicknames, charges of “fake news” and the guilt-triggered repetition of “there was no collusion.”
No, the person speaking was Richard Nixon in 1973 at a dinner for the Japanese premier. It was at the height of the Watergate investigation. Nixon, like Trump, was trying to minimize the import of the investigation and to cast it as a personal, “vicious,” and “petty” attack. It wasn’t.
Indeed, the parallels between Trump now and Nixon then are extraordinary.
As revelations of wrongdoing multiplied, many Republican senators continued to try to protect and console Nixon.